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Evangelical Lutheran Church

Luderitz | Namibia

This church is affectionately known as the 'Felsenkirche' or the 'church on the rocks'. It is the highest placed building in the town of Luderitz. 'Felsen' is the German name for a natural granite outcrop, hence the name. It is also one of Namibia's oldest Evangelical Lutheran churches and according to the Official Gazette, the cornerstone was laid on 19th November 1911. The church was consecrated on 4th August 1912.

This was some years later than first proposed and coincided with a number of events. Firstly, the German occupation of Namibia began and initially the Teutonic population was too small to justify such an undertaking. Secondly, the Herero and Nama uprisings and rebellions against German colonialisms increased from 1904-1907. Subsequently troop numbers at Luderitz followed suit. Thirdly in 1908, the discovery of diamonds at Kolmanskop near Luderitz added to the human density. A more permanent European population were now in residence in Luderitz.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church features a more 'Victorian Gothic' architecture than most contemporary German neo-Gothic styles. Albert Bause, more of a builder than architect, built the church. He was influenced by the English Victorian style of the then Cape Colony, his former home. It's location on Diamond Mountain overlooking the village of Luderitz, gives it prominence, authority and charm. Albert was decorated with a silver merit award by the German Emperor for his achievement.

The present day Felsenkirche is in 'impeccable condition' and can be found at the upper end of Kirch Weg in Luderitz. It was proclaimed a national monument on 21st September 1978.

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